Homemade roasted chestnuts

Homemade roasted chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts are one of the many wonders that autumn gifts us. Here is a beloved recipe to easily roast them at home in a regular oven.

A bag of chestnuts

I come from a very tiny village near Milan, very rarely something happens in my hometown.

One of the things we do have though is the chestnut festival. On the last Sunday of October, volunteers set up tables and chairs in the main square. They light a fire and roast the most delicious chestnuts. You can hear the crackling of the fire from far away and feel the warm and dense air as you approach the square. Grab quickly one of the hot white paper bags before they are all gone.

A bag of memories

As soon as the first of October came, I begged my parents to make chestnuts for lunch, dinner, and even breakfast.

My dad couldn’t say no. He spoiled me and lit a fire in our fireplace, usually the first one of season. He took a dusty pan with holes out from the cupboard. He slowly crossed the chestnuts while the fire quickly heated the room.

I love chestnuts in all their forms – cake, risotto, soups, pies, creams, and pancakes. I have a soft spot for roasted chestnuts though as they bring so many dear memories back.

I miss chestnuts terribly as you can’t find them so easily abroad and I can never make it home in time for the chestnut season. My dad thought of a way to work around it and he now surprises me at Christmas with frozen roasted chestnuts – a way to freeze time too and share a special moment. It might be the happiness of being together, but frozen roasted chestnuts taste to me as sweet as the fresh ones.

Your new go-to recipe for homemade roasted chestnuts

My corner shop sells chestnuts this time of the year. Sadly, they are not as big as the ones you find in my hometown, but they still do the job.

I found the first ones today and decided to quickly publish this blog post so we can all celebrate the chestnut festival together.

Over the years, I perfected a method to roast them at home with great results and no hassle.

The first time I roasted them on my own, I used a pan. I’ve burnt the pan so badly I had to throw it away. The second time I had to postpone a date as they took hours to bake in the oven. Another time I let the chestnuts cool down before peeling them and discovered too late that’s impossible to peel chestnuts once cold. I was left with a bag of stones.

I don’t want any of you to go through this.  Like with most things in life, roasting chestnuts is extremely easy once you know how to do it. Let me show you how, with just a few simple steps and tricks.

This recipe is dedicated to my dad, always finding a way to give me the best in life. Thank you.

Homemade roasted chestnuts

Course: Snacks
Prep time


Cooking time



Roasted chestnuts are one of the many wonders that autumn gifts us. Here is a beloved recipe to easily roast them at home in a regular oven.


  • As many chestnuts as you want

  • As much water as you need


  • Clean your chestnuts with water
  • Cut a long slit on the belly of your chestnuts – that’s essential otherwise they’ll pop in the oven and you don’t want to have to clean a crime scene. Make sure to only cut the shell but not the nut inside.
  • Now here’s my secret: transfer the cut chestnuts to a pot, add lots of water and bring it to a boil. Drain the chestnuts immediately. This step is incredibly helpful to ensure the chestnuts are cooked throughout in a regular oven + help to take the skin out later.
  • Transfer the chestnuts to a roasting tin and arrange them cut-side up. Roast for 25 minutes at 220 C (fan oven). The chestnuts will puff up and turn as yellow as the sun.
  • As soon as you get the chestnuts out of the oven, wrap the chestnuts with a clean tea towel or put them in a paper bag. This will create a bit of steam and help you to peel the nuts effortlessly.
  • Let the chestnuts cool down for 5 minutes and peel them immediately. This is essential, you won’t be able to peel them once they are cold as chestnuts turn into stones with glued skin – yum!
  • Eat immediately or freeze to share with a special someone later


  • You can add more flavour to your chestnuts by roasting them with rosemary/sage/bay leaves and sea salt and wrapping it all in foil.

1 Comment

  1. My mum always struggled with chestnuts. I should try this recipe next time I visit her so I can impress her 😉 thank you for your post!

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